The Anonymous Widower

Two-Hour Energy Storage Offers Better Value As UK Frequency Response Market Saturating, Investor Gresham House Says

The title of this post, is the same as this article on Energy Storage News.

I would agree with what Gresham House says and it is my view that we need a lot more energy storage.

I like the system that Highview Power are building at Carrington near Manchester.

  • It has an output of 50 MW.
  • It has a capacity of 250 MWh.

This means it can supply 50 MW for five hours.

As they have sold other systems to Chile, Spain and the United States, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of their systems sold in the UK.

January 12, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , | Leave a comment

1,000 Children Shot in A Year As US Gun Violence Soars

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in The Times.

This is the first paragraph.

More than a thousand children under 12 have been killed or injured by gunfire in the United States this year.

In addition, 4,552 youths aged 12 to 17 were killed and injured.

No comment from me, can do justice to these figures.

 

December 31, 2021 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments

Hydrogen Freight Locomotive Demonstration Planned

The title of this post, is the same as that, of this article on Railway Gazette.

The first two paragraphs explain the project.

Progress Rail, BNSF and Chevron have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a fuel cell demonstrator locomotive to assess the viability of using hydrogen as an alternative to diesel for main line freight operations.

Progress Rail plans to design and build a prototype fuel cell locomotive, with Chevron developing the hydrogen fuelling infrastructure. BNSF would then operate the locomotive for a period of time.

It can’t be long before we start to see large-scale hydrogen locomotive projects in the UK and Europe.

December 16, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Voters In Trump Counties Far More Likely To Die Of Covid

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in The Times.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Americans in areas that voted for President Trump are almost three times more likely to die of Covid-19 than those in counties that supported Joe Biden, an analysis has found.

In the most strongly pro-Trump areas there was an almost sixfold difference in pandemic mortality with the most pro-Biden areas, according to National Public Radio (NPR).

I suppose Trummkopf will say it is fake news.

December 7, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , | 2 Comments

Canadian National Buys Battery Locomotive

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

This is the first paragraph.

Canadian National’s Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad has purchased a Wabtec FLXdrive battery-electric freight locomotive, with financial support from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Marine & Rail Freight Movers grant programme.

The locomotive is intended to work in multiple with diesel locomotives and this cuts fuel consumption, pollution and noise.

I described the locomotive in FLXdrive ‘Electrifies’ Pittsburgh and the more I learn about this locomotive the more I like it.

The locomotive numbered 3000, which appears in all Wabtec pictures is an example an ES44AC from the GE Evolution Series and was converted from a standard locomotive, that was in the test fleet.

Interestingly, Canadian National own several hundred of these locomotives, so they won’t be short of one to convert.

The diesel version would appear to be a 3.3 MW diesel locomotive.

In addition, this page on the Wabtec web site gives some details of the battery-electric locomotive.

  • The locomotive is powered by lithium-ion batteries.
  • There are around 20,000 battery cells
  • The batteries have their own air-conditioning
  • There is a sophisticated battery-management system.
  • The total battery size is 2.4 MWh
  • Power output is 4400 HP or 3.24 MW
  • Locomotive will run for 30-40 minutes at full power.
  • The locomotive has regenerative braking.
  • Operating speed is 75 mph

Note that running at 75 mph for 40 minutes would cover fifty miles.

It does look as if, the diesel-electric and the battery-electric conversion have similar power outputs. Could this be, as the traction system on both locomotives are identical? It’s just that one uses a diesel generator and the other uses batteries.

Although there must be differences in the traction systems, as the battery-electric locomotive has regenerative braking.

The battery-electric locomotive is designed to work in conjunction with one or two diesel locomotives, where a sophisticated computer system decides which engines power the train.

  • Wabtec are claiming a thirty percent reduction in fuel and emissions compared to an all-diesel setup.
  • Electric power will also be used in depots and sensitive areas.

I do think though, that this is a pragmatic solution to cut the carbon footprint of heavy-freight in North America.

But it could be a half-way solution, as Wabtec have hinted that they are working on hydrogen-powered locomotives.

I also feel it might be possible to convert some of the UK’s Class 66 locomotives into battery-electric locomotives for lighter freight duties or working in a pair with a Class 66 locomotive to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

I discuss this in Could Class 66 Locomotives Be Converted Into Battery-Electric Locomotives?

Have CN Bought The Prototype?

There is also this article on the Green Car Congress, which is entitled CN Purchases Wabtec’s Battery-Electric Locomotive.

The article seems fairly certain they have.

So perhaps, they want to get on with the job and see what the locomotive can do?

November 5, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lumo – A View From Across The Pond

I have just read this guide to Lumo on a United States web site called NewsNation USA, which is entitled Lumo Trains: Cheaper London To Edinburgh Fares – What You Need To Know. The article is positive about the new train service.

It only misses out one important detail. Lumo have said, they will have a long booking window, which will surely appeal to travellers on the route from overseas, who are coming to the UK for a holiday and want to visit both cities.

October 26, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 4 Comments

Rolls-Royce To Re-Engine A Fleet Of Aircraft That Went Into Service In 1955 For $2.6 Billion

This sounds like good business if you can get it for Rolls-Royce.

It’s all described in this press release from Rolls-Royce, which is entitled Rolls-Royce North America Selected To Power The B-52 Commercial Engine Replacement Program.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Rolls-Royce North America has been selected to provide the powerplant for the B-52 Stratofortress under the Commercial Engine Replacement Program (CERP), further extending a long history of powering the United States Air Force.

The decision means the American-made Rolls-Royce F-130 engine will power the B-52 for the next 30 years. The Air Force made the announcement after a vigorous multi-year competition.

Note.

  1. It looks like the B-52s will stay in service until 2050.
  2. That is not bad for an aircraft that first flew in 1952, when I was five.

Wikipedia describes the deal like this.

The USAF intends to purchase 650 engines (608 direct replacements, 42 spare engines) for its fleet of 76 B-52H aircraft in a $2.6 billion deal.

I suspect the accountants are pleased at Rolls-Royce, as $2.6 million is good cash-flow.

  • The F-130 engine is a military variant of the BR725 engine, which was developed by Rolls-Royce Deutschland, which although it started as a joint-venture between Rolls-Royce and BMW, is now part of Rolls-Royce.
  • The engines will be built by Rolls-Royce North America in Indianapolis.

So I suspect development costs will not be too horrendous!

 

October 5, 2021 Posted by | Business, Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Pop Up Metro Aims To Provide Affordable Passenger Operation

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Trains News Wire.

It describes entrepreneur Henry Posner’s Railroad Development Corporation‘s concept of a Pop-Up Metro and how it is being demonstrated in Rockhill, Pennsylvania, where it is being demonstrated at the Rockhill Trolley Museum.

Routes suggested in the article include.

Not all these routes are fully electrified.

There is some interesting ideas in the concept.

The female project manager is also quoted as saying

I found that if you just say yes to Henry, something interesting happens!

Little did I think, that these days, I’d see that said in a serious article.

Let’s hope that represents the can-do approach behind the design, but staying within the rules of safety.

 

October 2, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Dramatically More Powerful’: World’s First Battery-Electric Freight Train Unveiled

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in The Guardian.

It is a good article about Wabtec’s new FLXdrive battery train and is very positive about it coming from a typical Guardian direction.

The article is a must-read.

I am beginning to feel that what Wabtec has done is to create a practical and affordable solution, that will cut carbon emissions in a difficult area, that produces the figures and also is understandable by diverse groups, like journalists, politicians and environmentalists. And they are backing it with academic research from a good university.

I also believe that the technology can be applied to existing locomotives as I outlined in Could Class 66 Locomotives Be Converted Into Battery-Electric Locomotives?.

Could this be another example of positive environmental change brought about by when the big beasts play their cards in the jungle?

Going green is a way of company survival! And Wabtec are going in that direction.

September 17, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

FLXdrive ‘Electrifies’ Pittsburgh

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Age.

The article describes Wabtec’s FLXdrive locomotive, as “the world’s first 100% battery, heavy-haul locomotive”

It is well worth a read, as it describes some of the design philosophy.

In addition, this page on the Wabtec web site gives some details of the locomotive.

It is powered by lithium-ion batteries.

  • There are around 20,000 battery cells
  • The batteries have their own air-conditioning
  • There is a sophisticated battery-management system.
  • The total battery size is 2.4 MWh
  • Power output is 4400 HP or 3.24 MW
  • Locomotive will run for 30-40 minutes at full power.
  • The locomotive has regenerative braking.
  • Operating speed is 75 mph

Note that running at 75 mph for 40 minutes would cover fifty miles.

The Railway age article has this paragraph, which describes a partnership between Carnegie-Mellon University (CMU), Genesee & Wyoming and Wabtec to create the Freight Rail Innovation Institute.

CMU, Genesee & Wyoming and Wabtec also hope to create the Freight Rail Innovation Institute, described as “the first-of-its-kind effort to create zero-emission locomotives, develop technology that increases freight rail utilization and improve safety by 50%, and create 250,000 jobs by 2030.” G&W’s Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad will pilot technologies developed by the Freight Rail Innovation Institute, including a zero-emissions battery and hydrogen-powered train that is planned for revenue operation on 200 miles of track between Pittsburgh and Buffalo, N.Y. within the next three years.

Note.

  1. The paragraph is very much a mission statement.
  2. Genesee & Wyoming are the parent of Freightliner in the UK, who are developing a dual-fuel locomotive, that I wrote about in Freightliner Secures Government Funding For Dual-Fuel Project.

It strikes me CMU, Genesee & Wyoming and Wabtec are on the right track.

September 16, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 6 Comments